Mionske on Keeping Your Cool

Bob Mionske, author of Bicycling and the Law, also runs the informative BicycleLaw.com website. He regularly publishes articles on bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities and how they relate to traffic law.

In a recent article, Mionske talks about how to handle encounters with law enforcement when the officer is unaware or plain wrong on the law, something that’s not all that unusual when it comes to bicycle traffic law.

Read the article

2 Responses to “Mionske on Keeping Your Cool”

  • Sharper says:

    I’d highly recommend looking behind you before you flip off an aggressive honking motorist. The ones with lights and sirens tend not to like it, though it does give you a good opportunity to practice what Mionske’s preaching.

  • Fergie348 says:

    Interesting – all the examples cited in the article are examples where the police officer tells the cyclist essentially ‘you don’t belong here’ when in fact that’s not the case. Bicycles belong, but in fact in many scenarios it is not safe for bicycles to share the roadway with automotive traffic. The safety issues usually come down to the speed differences between automotive traffic and bicycle traffic, and there not being enough space for both.

    I would argue (as I have many times before on this blog and elsewhere) that it is the lack of cycling specific infrastructure that is the root cause of hazardous conditions. It almost doesn’t matter how you ride – if what you’re riding on wasn’t designed for your mode of transport it is highly unlikely that you can actually be safe. We chase the illusion of safety and belonging with little strips of paint that say ‘I belong here’.

    If you think about it, the police are just responding to what they regard as an unsafe condition by trying to fix the problem. Unfortunately, the way they try to fix the problem is to chase us off the roadway where they perceive us to be in the way of legitimate traffic (i.e., cars). It’s for our own good, after all. When we grow up and get our first sniff of reality, we’ll get back in our cars like the rest of the law abiding citizenry..

    Soo.. since that’s not going to happen (I remain firmly planted in an alternate paradigm that makes sense to me, and presumably to everyone else who reads this blog), we’re left with essentially two tracks of safety remediation for transportation cycling. One, to build awareness and acceptance of bikes being an equal partner on the flawed roadways of America and two, to work toward building an alternative infrastructure that is physically segregated from the roadways currently clogged with automotive traffic. Most cycling advocacy groups tend to focus on the former, while I think that we ought to spend most of our time and energy working toward the latter – separate but equal. Cycling segregation, if you will.

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